“What soap is to the body, tears are for the soul.”
-an old Jewish saying…
Everyone needs a good cry once in a while. Crying is therapeutic. Emotional tears release stress hormones and endorphins similar to the chemical release of a good run. Interesting that when you cry from cutting onions you don’t get the same effects.
A friend of mine was going through some tough times and was at a loss for solutions, and in fact did not want to be fixed, simply needed more spiritual support or just something to help her gain some perspective. She decided one Thursday evening that she would go to a church-any church that was open.
Growing up, I remember being able to walk into any Catholic church to light a candle, pray quietly, or share your problems with Jesus or Mary or one of the other saints that were represented in statues around main sanctuary. Its different today. Churches are under lock and key for security reasons.
My friend, who by the way, is Jewish, found an open church. It was Methodist and they had an event going on that Thursday evening. She walked into the Church and noticed the sign for the “Crying Room.” “How nice” , she thought. “That’s just what I need.” She walked in and there were rocking chairs. As a therapist, she knew that rocking is very soothing for the body and soul. She also knew the benefits of therapeutic crying.
She had the room to herself, and made herself comfortable in one of the chairs. She began rocking and saw a pile of coverlets, which were to be used by nursing mothers, but my friend thought they were for warmth and security while rocking. Again she was impressed with how welcoming this room was and how it had everything to sit and have a good cry.
There was plenty of Kleenex and a few spiritual books and Bibles scattered around the room. She quietly rocked and let the tears flow. What a great idea! She had never seen a crying room but praised the church for having the insight to provide such a place.
She walked out of the church feeling lighter and later told her husband about the experience at the church.
He laughed and told her that a crying room was for parents with small children who might disrupt a service with their noise. And also this room provided a place for nursing mothers with babies. My friend was so embarrassed. She had never even thought of that. To her, a crying room meant a place to cry-a place to release the tears of suffering that we all experience from time to time.
She laughed and laughed about this experience gaining the benefits of a good laugh and good cry.